This is one of my favourite cured fish dishes – I think of it as a Jewish riff on gravadlax. It takes the flavours of chraine and the caraway seeds of rye bread and transforms them into an elegant and dramatic dinner party starter. You just need to remember to start it two days before you want to serve it. It lasts up to a week, well covered in the fridge.
Find two flat (but rimmed) baking trays that fit in your fridge and are large enough to hold the salmon. Line both with cling film. (This is a precaution against leaking beetroot juice – itwill stain anything it touches!)
Lay the salmon fillet on one of the trays. Check for pin bones and remove any you find.
Mix together all the remaining ingredients to create a purple sludge and spread it all over the salmon. Cover well with cling film and lay the other baking tray on top. Place in the fridge and weigh down the top tray with something heavy – tins of beans are pretty good! Leave to cure for 48–72 hours.
Remove from the fridge and carry the trays to the sink – carefully does it, as there will be a pool of red liquid around the salmon. Gently remove the cling film. Scrape off the cure, rinse briefly under the cold tap and then lay on a chopping board. Using a very sharp knife, cut the salmon into the thinnest slices you can, on the bias, leaving the skin behind. The slices will have a beautiful, bright pink edge to them. Serve with crème fraîche and slices of buttered rye, blinis or latkes.